Summer Songs festival offers Broadway, jazz and creative workshops in Rathdrum

This year, Rathdrum Summer Songs – Inland & by the Sea will feature fun for the whole family with a world-class musician, arts and crafts for kids, and songwriting and dance workshops for four fun days. From Thursday, August 18 through Sunday, August 21, the event takes place at Rathdrum Memorial Park and opens with the Mobile Music Machine Thursday at 4 p.m.

his family concert will feature soprano Sandra Oman, Niall O’Sullivan (trumpet), Katie O’Connor (violin) and Frank McNamara (piano) and will see listeners treated to a light-hearted program of family favorites, including themes from musicals and movies. This event is free but reservation is essential.

Later in the evening at 5:30 p.m., the Penston family, Naoimh, Amy and Leah, perform West End and Broadway hits alongside classical and Celtic crossovers. The Penstons have recently been working on collaborative TV performances and online concerts and collaborations inspired and driven by the Covid pandemic. This event is free but reservation is essential.

On Friday mornings from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., White Doodle Art will host a fun geli plate engraving workshop looking for fallen leaves, feathers, and interesting objects to use as the subject matter for your print. Learn about registration, composition, negative and positive space, ink, and print a one-of-a-kind print to take home. This activity is suitable for children from 4 to 8 years old accompanied by an adult and is free but reservation is essential.

Later in the day, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., there will be an introductory songwriting workshop hosted by Createschool. This workshop is ideal for complete beginners or for those who have been writing songs for a while and would like some new ideas and skills. Createschool will walk you through the main elements of song and lyric writing and help you capture that great idea as a song to share with your friends and family. Suitable for ages 12-15. The ability to play an instrument is not a prerequisite. Free but reservation essential.

From 4-7pm, join Aoife from Wicklow Willow for creative willow weaving workshops perfect for the whole family. Learn how to make small fish from willow stems and find out how willow grows and what it can be used for. This event is also free but reservation is essential.

That evening at 7:30 p.m., a free concert by Robbie Walsh and Sean Fox will take place in the park. Robbie is a bodhran player from Dublin. Raised with a strong musical background, he learned his trade from Kilkenny’s Noel Dowling and has long been active in Dublin’s vibrant session culture. Sean is a singer-songwriter from Co Wicklow who has been making music since 2015. He has shared a stage with Aslan and Jerry Fish and when not performing solo Sean fronts the indie rock band The Decades. Free but reservation essential.

Saturday festivities kick off with Toddler Time with Sarah Sparkles from 10-11am. Suitable for children from 0 to 4 years old. Sarah and her puppet friends will host a fully interactive show with stories, music, song and dance. Free but reservation essential.

A small disco with DJ Mick follows from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with dance favorites for the whole family. This event is free and without reservation.

White Doodle Art is hosting a wreath-making workshop from 1-2 p.m. in which they will use upcycled and repurposed materials to help participants cut, glue, and design their own summer song wreath. There will also be face painting in an activity designed for 4-8 year olds. This event is free but reservation is essential.

From 2:30-4:00 p.m., father and son Teddy and Cathal Barry host a social dance event with a selection of tunes perfect for the whole family. This event is free but reservation is essential.

White Doodle Art returns at 4 p.m. for a mixed media collage workshop in which 8-12 year olds can create a nautical/marine mixed media collage using interesting scraps of wallpaper, print and recycled materials. Free but reservation essential.

At 7:30 p.m., Paddy Casey, supported by Florence Road, will give an intimate concert in the park. Paddy has headlined Irish festivals, Dublin Castle, played a week-long residency at the Olympia Theatre, performed his own landmark concert at the RDS and supported many big names around the world, including U2. Florence Road are a pop-rock band based in Wicklow who have only recently started playing but have previously been featured in the Irish Times. Tickets €15, visit

On the last day of the festival, Wicklow Local Sports Partnership presents FYI dance workshops from 12pm to 2pm. Children can learn the grooves and techniques of hip hop in these two dance workshops with Zoe Patterson from FYI Dance Club. The first workshop from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. is dedicated to 7-11 year olds while the second workshop from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. is intended for 12-17 year olds. No experience is necessary, but a love of movement in music, self-expression and enthusiasm for new learning are essential. Free and without reservation.

The local Wicklow Sports Partnership then presents an introductory balance bike workshop from 2:30-4:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 21. Led by Andrea McCormick, a qualified cycling tutor, children aged 4-7 will learn the basics of cycling using one of six balance bikes. available the day. It’s free and without reservation.

The Summer Songs event concludes with the Mia Parsons Quartet from 5-7 p.m. With Mia Parsons on vocals, Myles Drennan on organ, Nigel Mooney on guitar and Jerry Fehily on drums, this jazz show will draw the four days of fun and entertainment to a close. This event is free but reservation is essential.

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